Gallery Wall Dilemma

Gallery wall dilemma!! This was the gallery wall that I quickly put up for some color in my house when we moved in (almost a year ago).  I knew it didn’t look and feel right but I was just happy to have some color on my walls.  My general rule with color in your home, 90% white walls and 10% color.  If you haven’t gathered I am a total white wall gal, but definitely, love to play with color.  Anywho, I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to tackle this dilemma, and by dilemma, I mean this wronged gallery wall.  This wall needed justice and it was about time it was served.  So without further ado here is my new and improved gallery wall…

MUCH MUCH better!! Now let me tell you why this works and the previous wall didn’t.  My wronged gallery wall, (what we will now refer to it as) was too proportioned.  What I mean by that is, it had a center that was centered, (if that makes any sense).  This is a huge no-no, as a gallery wall should not have a center.  You may have a focal point like I do, which is the colorful, circular sand art (my son made, such a proud mama), but it should be slightly off-center in your gallery wall.  Second, no-no in the wronged gallery wall is the fact that I have all the same picture sizes and color of frames…BORING!  You really should mix it up a bit to allow the eye to move through your design, gallery walls are not meant to be “equal”.  Third, no-no in the wronged gallery wall is not enough pictures to feel my space leaving to much negative space.  Gallery walls are meant to be “cluttered” within reason. Show some personality and have fun with the placement, do not measure out the pictures to have equal perimeters.  So turning our attention to the “justice served” gallery wall notice how I addressed all the issues.  First off my colorful focal point (sand art) is off-center a tad.  I added more pictures and objects in various sizes to mix up my design and give it some character.  Using objects is a great way to break up a gallery wall.  I used a plastic face mask along with a basketweave placemat to really layer in the texture and shape.  I also added a few different frames or no frames at all which also helps it to feel less “perfect”.  And of coarse by adding more art, my negative space is minimized and helps the wall feel more complete and proportionate.  Sounds crazy right?!  But seriously “less is more” is not the quote you want to use when designing a gallery wall.  “More is better”, along with, “off-center and mismatched shapes and frames” all allow this wall to feel more akin and equal.

 

To sum it all up:

  • layer in texture and shape for more character
  • use different shapes and sizes of art
  • use different frames or no frames at all
  • do not center your focal point.
  • use enough art to accomplish a gallery wall without too much negative space
  • have fun and enjoy the process

 

The best advice I can give, grab those comfy pants, (if you know me, you know that I love a good comfy pant) turn up the music and enjoy the ride.  This is a creative process with no hard rules, it is more about how the wall looks and if it feels balanced to the eye.  Not balanced with a ruler.  There is a difference there and when you accomplish it you will know it.  Don’t get too frustrated or discouraged if you have to take down what you just hung up, (more on this in a sec) just know that Rome wasn’t built in a day so have some patience because, in the end, it is totally worth it.

Your best friend through this whole process will be command strips:

They will save your wall from too many nail holes which you will have to fix in the future when you feel like changing up your wall.  Also, they allow for more “flexibility” when trying to place the art on the wall in different spots to find just the right balance.  Seriously people…these are the way to go with your gallery walls.

 

When you feel that your wall is balanced to the eye and you feel complete, take a picture and look at it from that view, to make sure you feel that it is truly completed.

 

No more gallery wall dilemma!!  This made me feel so accomplished, something that has been on my to-do list for a year now!!  To find more inspo on gallery walls follow me on Pinterest @cottonandchaos.  Also, do you have any before and after pics of your gallery walls??  If so please share as I love a good before and after!!

 

Happy Tuesday!!

Best,

Jen

 

 

Boho Door Decor

So the 4th of July is over and the dog days of summer are at our heels.  The next biggest holiday to look forward too is possibly Halloween or the cooler temperatures of fall (that’s a holiday right?!).  I struggle this time of year, not just with heat exhaustion, but with how and what to decorate my porch with.  My porch is always centered around the next holiday or season, but with nothing on the horizon and my patriotic decor down for the summer…what to do next??  And then it hit me…why not try a boho theme that I have been seeing everywhere.  Black and white paired with a natural fiber, such as wicker, is totally my jam.  Everything I have on my porch is my favorite scheme including my DOG!  I swear when we picked him up as a pup, I never thought “he is the one, he matches my house decor…haha!!  Seriously though I love black and white and I love my dog, win-win!  Another fun fact about my porch is that everything is either homemade, recycled and/or reused/refurbished.  Check out my post on my wicker chair redo here.  Today however I am here to talk about my boho “wreath”.  Although “wreath” doesn’t sound quite right for this door decor piece, I can’t seem to find the right words to describe it.  What do you think we should call this?  Weaving?  Just not sure, anyhow, check out my quick, fun and believe it or not stress relieving DIY craft I created in about an hour.  The perfect summer porch retreat in the heat of the summer color palette awaits you.  So get ready to create yours if you too have thought about what to do with your porch in these last few months of summer.

Items needed:

  • A stick from the outdoors, thick enough to wrap the string around without snapping.  Long enough for your desired width.
  • Spools of string in your color palette of choice.  I used one whole spool of cream, however, I used more cream in my “wreath”.  If you decide to use more of one color, you may need to buy multiples of that color. If you decided you want longer strings than the length pictured above you may also need to buy multiple spools of the same color.
  • Scissors

First off establish a length to your own liking.  Remember you will be doubling the strings over when you tie a knot around the stick so don’t forget to take this into account when determining your length (look at the black strings above to see how long my strings actually are when folded in half).  I bundled about six strings together and when doubled over it turns to twelve strings which is a good size for a small knot.  If you want a bigger knot simply cut more strings to then double over.

Next, take your doubled over strings and loop around your stick pulling your ends through the loop formed by initially doubling your strings over, just like the picture above.

Here is what it should look like after a few knots.  There are many different knots you can make, or you can weave the strings as well, but for this tutorial, we are keeping it simple. To give you an idea, I chose to have a pattern of twelve cream knots followed by four black knots, three cream knots, four black knots, and twelve cream knots.  Depending on how wild you want to get with your colors and patterns, the options are endless.

Now for a few finishing touches.  I added a few braided pieces incorporating black and cream together to transition the colors more seamlessly.  I also added a few wooden beads strung on the black string for extra texture and dimension.  My wooden strung beads were an afterthought but I am so glad I added them as I think they really complete the look, don’t you?  I had some wooden beads on hand but anywhere you can purchase craft goodies you will find wooden beads easily.

There you have it, and if I do say so myself I just love it!  The “wreath” really “made” the porch look and feel like the vibe I was going for.  I love when I have a successful DIY’s, they totally make my day.  All the while I am going to enjoy this “wreath” more because I made it!  On a side note, my gardenia tree isn’t happy right now so I am trying to nurse him back to health.  If you have any suggestions on this I would gladly take them as this is a very moody tree!

Just a few environmentally friendly tips on how to keep this DIY a green DIY.  First off I found a stick in my backyard, don’t have one in your yard, check your local park (my dog is always bringing sticks home from the park).  Avoid using a plastic rod if possible.  The same thing with the wood beads, try finding them in a natural fiber (like wood) instead of plastic.  Last but not least, use a natural string like a cotton twine.  I found mine on Amazon but I don’t think you would have a hard time finding them at your local craft store as well.

Well, what are you waiting for… go and get that boho “wreath” on your door, just in time for the dog days of summer.

Happy stick weaving!

Best,

Jen

 

Home Improvements Made with Love

Photo cred: elledecoration.co.uk

Do you flip through Pinterest and Instagram or maybe even just design mags and think…wow how do they do this?   First of all, these pictures have been styled, shot and filtered to boot, so of course, they are going to look gorg!  In all honesty, if I cleaned, organized and styled my home for a shoot I am sure it would look halfway decent and I might even be impressed how well it looks through the lens.  But this is real life and I don’t have time to have my home in perfect camera shoot condition.   Not only do I not have time for a perfect home, but I also don’t have the budget to accomplish what they can with their deep pocketbooks, (nor do I really want them as this would mean I would have the capability to just throw away and create waste for whatever my current mood and style preference is).  If I had a deep wallet I would be vacationing more often and my children’s college savings would be in prime savings status.  So back to real life…I love these pictures and would love to recreate them in my home but without the price tag.  Is this even possible?  Yes, totally, with a little creative juice and will power there is always a way!  Let me share with you a few home improvements made with love that you can make with sustainable in mind.  Best of all when you make something yourself you love and care for it that much more. So put on your comfy pants (I always enjoy anything more with comfy pants) and let me share a few ideas with you to help you get started.  Let’s get creative…

Photo cred: apartmenttherapy.com

First off we have the painted headboard.  Don’t have a headboard, no problem!!  Just paint one.  Grab your paint, brush and some painters tape and get creative with your design.  The two pictures above are both painted headboards, whether you fancy a circular or rectangular shape, they both can be done in a day and have a huge impact!  The best part is, paint can easily be changed or fixed (an eco-friendly paint like limewash paint would be a great sustainable solution).  The only thing you are wasting is the initial cost of the paint and time, if and when you choose to change it.

photo cred: smartfurniture.com

No baseboards, again don’t fret a little paint can go a long way!  This picture has a painted wall about a quarter of the way up from the floors, to mimic baseboards.  You could always paint less of a margin or stay at a quarter for more of a statement.  Either way you are giving an illusion of a baseboard and the best part is it won’t cost an arm and a leg to have a baseboard with height.  This picture shows a paint with a suede-like texture which is what a limewash paint can do.  My favorite thing about a limewash paint is how eco-friendly, solvent-free and hypoallergenic it is.  Another bonus, it’s naturally bacteria resistant.  The cons of this paint are the limited color palette, mottled appearance hard to control and not to everyone’s liking.  It also may be hard to clean so use it in a less high traffic area.  But I am telling you the texture in the paint adds depth that is beyond amazing so definitely worth a look.

photo cred: cottonandchaos.com

Paint your ceiling a different color other than white.  You may even want to get bold and tape off a design (depending on, if your arms are up to a bit of a workout).

photo cred: domino.com

A simple floating shelf display like the one above is definitely jaw-dropping.  What makes it eye-popping is the ombre paint of the background space and shelves in unison.  Again grabbing your paint, brush and painters tape, along with some knowledge on hanging floating shelves (pre-cut wood pieces available at your local hardware store or better yet craigslist/facebook if you’re lucky).

photo cred: designindulgences.com

One last simple paint fix, painting the inside of your front door.  As seen in this photo, you can get a little weird with it (which I love) by taping off a design or simply just painting the interior side anything other than white, can have a huge impact.

photo cred: kitchendecornews.info

Drab shower floor?  Don’t rip out the entire shower if it is functional.  Simply refurbish the floor of your shower with a lovely wood pallet.  Using sustainable wood such as bamboo, so stunning and modern.  Best part bamboo can stand up to water quite well.  The small gaps in between the wood panels allow for drainage so no plumbing knowledge required.

photo cred: cottonandchaos.com

Not a fan of the hardware in your bathroom, but it is fully functional.  Simply remove the faucet knobs and spray paint them a color of our choosing.  I used Rustoleum metallic spray paint in black.

photo cred: The House that Lars Built

I found this idea that I must try.  I have seen so many amazing light fixtures made from wood beads.  Why not try a little DIY… one that I can design and call my own.  LOVE!!  For the tutorial click here.

Last but certainly not least, a DIY pouf for your inside and outside spaces.  Check out Rachel from A Beautiful Mess for this soft plush indoor pouf that your furry family is sure to take over.  Need some inspiration for your outdoor space, maybe a table, chair or pouf, check out lifestylespace.com.

 

Hopefully, this gets the ticker going and you have some great ideas brewing.  If you have any sustainable, refurbishing ideas to improve your home please share in the comments below.

 

Happy creating and happy living!!

Best,

Jen

Cheers; DIY Coasters

 

I have such a fascination with coasters lately.  With the summer in full swing and everyone wanting to quench their thirst in the summer heat, cool beverages are a must! What comes along with those tall, cool glasses of liquid, sweating!  Now, this isn’t the bad kind of sweating, (although is there really a bad kind, cause if I am sweating…kudos to me for some physical activity!) this is the good kind of sweating proving this glass is full of ice cold sweetness. The simple science behind this = condensation and this can cause a harmful ring on your wood, glass, and metal surfaces.  A simple fix= a drink coaster.  Not only do drink coasters have a very important function but they can also be a styled accessory to your coffee or patio table.  This brings me to my fun DIY coaster.  So get those creative juices flowing and follow along to style some tables of your own (and possibly keep them from condensation rings).  You can also get the kiddos involved in the fun, as this is right up their ally keeping them off the screens!  Your guests will take notice of these fun designs asking “where did you get these”?  Huge WIN in my book!  Let’s get started:

Items needed:

  • Corkboard thick enough to absorb moisture and won’t curl up on edges. I got mine here.
  • Craft paint (2 colors) and paint brushes
  • Geometric template
  • Exacto knife or rotary knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Pen or marker
  • Washi or scotch tape

Start by printing out your template, if a geometric shape isn’t your jam here is a circular one.  Once your template is printed, cut out the shape and trace the shape onto the cork board either with a pen or marker.  Using your cutting board and rotary knife, (make sure your blade is sharp or you won’t have clean cuts) cut into the cork to form your shape. Typically a coaster set comes in a set of six, so that is what I cut out but there are no hard and fast rules here.  If you only need two, cut two, if you need twelve have at it, lucky for you the cork is soft and very easy to cut through, (so you won’t have sore hands afterward).

Now mask off an area that’s equivalent to a third of the hexagon with the tape. Take the tape from the outer points to the inner point. You can measure where the middle is to start with if you’d prefer.  Paint the exposed portion of the cork, you will most likely need two coats for vibrancy.  Let each coat dry before applying the next.  Remove the tape once dry and then mask out another third with some more tape. If you make sure that each color stays on the same side of the shape then the colors will fit together perfectly. You’ll need two coats of paint to fill in this second shape as well.  Once the coaster is completely dry peel off the tape.  Now you have fun conversation pieces while beautifully protecting your surfaces.

These would also be so fun for a homemade hostess gift, or just the right thing to give that friend, who has everything, for her birthday, (that’s what I did and it was a huge hit).  Oh and need some neighbor gifts for that holiday season, these would be great in a Christmas palette with some festive ribbon.  These DIY geometric coasters pack a punch and can be used individually or slotted together to create a patterned trivet for serving. It’s basically the cutest (and easiest) puzzle you’ll ever see!  I am honestly addicted and I can vouch these are so simple and fun!

So what are you waiting for fellow DIY enthusiasts??  Get started and please share your puzzle coasters with me.  I would love to see the color combos you all choose.

Happy creating and happy serving!

Best,

Jen

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links meaning I could make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Not Just a Closet…A Dressing Room

courtesy of MarthStewart.com

Hey, hey!  I have been on such a purge and organize kick lately??  Not sure why other than it is instant gratification in feeling productive for me (does that make any sense?).  With the kids home for summer, I feel that I am not getting anything accomplished and feeling like my to-do list is piling up and I am almost never able to cross anything off.  Yesterday I was finally able to get to a task that I have been wanting to tackle for a while now.  Cleaning out my wardrobe!!  I honestly love a good clothes purge, I love how organized everything is and I get the feeling like “I have it all together”.  While I was in my closet purging, I had an idea…my husband always gets nervous when I get “ideas”.  I decided I want to update our Master Closet…wait what?!  That’s right, you heard me, update my master closet that we will now refer to as dressing room.  Sounds so much more glam doesn’t it?  So I set out to find inspiration and I can’t believe what is out there!  A whole world of styled dressing rooms that made me think “what have I been doing all these years”?  How have I never noticed before, how a styled and designed dressing room would be such a fun way to express my own personality and style.  Dare I say…get a little funky and fun with this room?  YES!!  Check out my dressing room inspo below and see if you too would love to create a room that you can call your own entirely, (with my family of five I love a small sliver all to myself)!

courtesy of veranda.com

I love this dressing room for the sheer factor that it feeds my O.C.D. disorder.  So organized with the color-coded hanging garments and who can look past this dresser island??  I mean this serves as a place to fold and hang clothes as well as store sweaters and such.  A piece that is clear and allows you to see exactly what you want to pull out.  The chandelier adds so much glam to this room that it truly brings it all together for a stunning room.

courtesy of veranda.com
courtesy of midwesthomemag.com

So much style packed into these rooms!  I love how these two rooms show you so much personality that you feel you might even know the person.  The top dressing room shows you how a whole room, most likely in an older home (smaller closets and room in the ‘ol days), was transformed into a dressing room as a whole.  The “actual” closets are doors with glass panes that hold the wardrobe garments in style.  The rest of the room, with its fun purple hued accents that just screams with so much style, is dedicated to accessories and a bench that can function well to help you dress or undress.  The second dressing room is again the same idea with showing a little bit of who you are.  What really makes this room is the vintage piece in the middle, that is home to, perfume, belts, and jewelry.

Let us not forget about the gentlemen’s dressing room.  Rugged style with moody colors really makes these rooms quite manly.  What do you think maybe the new man cave?  There is a style for every personality, whether a tonal dressing room with floor to ceiling and everything in between, a solid color, or a rugged room with deep browns and warm wood accents.  I am digging the black dressing room with the built-in chair and the above ram head the most!

Another fun way to add a kick to your dressing room is to accent the ceiling.  Go crazy with this because honestly, this is the best room to do it in.  Probably one of the smaller rooms in your house can be a quick and fun project to do over a weekend.  Highlight your funky self with this as you want it to scream “you”.   Don’t feel like an arm workout (you know having to paint the ceiling), opt for painting behind your shoe rack and/or sweater rack for a fun accent.

These three modern dressing rooms caught my eye.  Having an island with ample storage for your accessories but also a nice folding station really makes a multifunctional piece.  I am drawn to the clean simple lines in the dressing rooms, feeling minimal and organized.  What more can we want from our dressing rooms?

courtesy of veranda.com

So simple and more along the lines of the space and layout that I will be working with.  A simple window nook that would be amazing to apply make-up, as daylight is the best light for that sort of thing.  Very fresh!

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed at all the amazing dressing rooms but don’t have cabinetry or layout let alone an extreme budget for this project, never fear I have you covered.  Better yet Ikea has you covered.  Both of the above pictures were closets created from the Ikea Pax system.

courtesy of veranda.com

This one is just for fun really.  I wanted to share this as I have been seeing many rumblings in the design world of the 80’s comeback.  Even in the custom closet world, the ’80s decade is rearing its head.  How tubular is the furniture with all the gold accents, almost screams a little Las Vegas glam.  I can’t tell if I like it or not…how about you?  Definitely different and I always like different.

Well enough of my rant that all started with trying to clean out my wardrobe.  I honestly eat, sleep and breathe design.  Anytime I have a chore that seems awfully daunting (like cleaning out my clothes), I try to turn it into a fun project.  In all truthfulness, I feel this would be a fun weekend project reflecting on who I am when I get to design for myself.  How about you?  Do you feel inspired to remodel your dressing room?

Happy Monday!

Best,

Jen

 

Patriotic Pillow DIY

 

Hey everyone!  It’s Tuesday and with that being said I find Tuesdays to be one of my favorite days.  It is kind of boring and quiet which is perfect for a little DIY.  This patriotic pillow is just the thing for our upcoming holiday, a holiday I noticed I don’t have much decor for.  I am thrilled to be able to supply my July 4th bin with more decor, so grab the kiddos and have them help as this pillow is ever so easy and fun!

Items needed:

  • Poms in red white and blue
  • Fabric glue
  • White Pillow

As simple as that supply list is, so is the actual construction of this pillow.  It took me about 10 minutes to apply the poms and a few hours to let the glue dry.  The idea is to glue the poms with your fabric glue in the design of an American flag.  I glued about eleven blue poms in the top left corner staggering them with four poms on the first row, then three on the next row, and then again four poms on the third row.  A total of three rows of blue poms spaced about a finger space apart.  Of coarse, your design will depend on the size of your pillow,  you may need to add more poms or space them further apart to fill the front of your pillow.  Next, I added the red and white poms to imitate the red and white stripes of the flag.  I continued the rows that I started with the blue poms and worked my way down the pillow altering the red and white poms.  I  spaced the red and white poms about two finger spaces apart.  I staggered the red and white poms with each row as well to create a less unified look.  Once finished follow the directions on your fabric glue for dry times, I let mine dry for about three hours before I placed mine on my porch.

There ya have it, folks!  It’s just that easy and added so much more to my porch in celebration of our upcoming holiday.  As I said before, my decor bin for July 4th is slim pickins so this was a great budget-friendly addition.  If you have any more budget-friendly, DIY , simple decor ideas for this great American holiday, please share as I always have room for more decor!

 

Happy DIY Tuesday!  Let’s get creative!

Best,

Jen

 

Make your bed…styled

Courtesy of Etsy

Didn’t your mother ever tell you to make your bed and you were always like, “but why, I am just going to sleep in it tonight”.  I know that thought has crossed my mind a time or two before.  In all honesty, making your bed first thing in the morning is actually a really positive and productive way to start the day.  As Naval Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations, put it best: “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another,” he said. “By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”  Among other reasons, it helps keep the rest of the room tidy which can improve your mood and stress level.

So why not have a little fun with this chore and style your bed like a pro.  Here are some tips to achieve that styled bed that you see on Pinterest, Interior design blogs, etc… it really is easy once you know how.

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

This layout shows you how many standard pillows, euro pillows, and throw/accent pillows you can use for the size of bed you are styling.  This guide is a great reference.  But remember, when styling, what makes it great is that you make it personal.

 

Courtesy of Studio McGee

Now let us move on to some pro tips and tricks:

  1. Make the bed with the flat sheet wrong side up and plenty of room at the top to fold over your top blanket or quilt
  2. Use a pair of large Euro square pillows to add height and texture.  A good pointer is to match the Euro shams to the duvet or quilt. When styling a king size bed use 3 Euro shams as listed in the layout above.
  3. Use pillow shams instead of pillowcases for a finished look.  Match them to your sheets or use them to layer in more color and texture.  When styling a king size bed use king-size shams and pillows.
  4. Using lots of layers (which is great for warmth depending on seasons) and adding a quilt or blanket is a must.  Place your duvet on top turned up, halfway down with the quilt laying flat or turned down over it.  Or fold your duvet into thirds at the foot of the bed.  You can introduce a new texture, color or pattern such as cotton or velvet.
  5. Use boudoir + throw pillows to layer in texture and color…think velvet, beaded, silk, embroidered or even furry.  Bolster pillows are a great option especially for king size beds.
  6. Add a soft throw blanket at the foot of the bed for a final touch.  This is a great way to break up the expanse of a bed.

Bonus tips:

  • For extra plush use two inserts into your duvet cover (or try using one size larger).
  • Add a featherbed beneath your fitted sheet for extra softness
  • If you really want to impress, try ironing your sheets.
  • Instead of putting all pillows upright, try laying a few flat and then resting Euro shams against and upright for height.  The look leaves the bed full and balanced.
Courtesy of Studio McGee

The look of layering:

The all-white bed is a summer classic, crisp and inviting all year long.  Remember to layer with texture to enhance the style.

The monochromatic bed is layering tonal versions of one color in different materials and textures.  This look is very sophisticated and can really pop.  For example, try linen sheets paired with a silk quilt and velvet duvet.  Adding small texture and pattern to the throw pillows.

The colorful bed a bright colorful bed is a cheery way to spruce up your bedroom.  If you choose a bold pattern or color for your duvet opt for solid or white sheets, and a few solid throw pillows to balance it out.

The soft patterned bed a way to make an impression is the duvet cover.  Choose a soft, mild pattern and then pick one color or neutral to use on the sheets and pillows.  Pump up texture with throw pillows and throw blankets.

Lastly, let me leave you with some styled bed inspo…

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Anything fun planned??  After all this bed talk, and exhaustion from my kiddos being home this summer I may just stay in bed…haha!

Best,

Jen

 

July 4th Decor for the Win

Courtesy of Etsy

Happy Birthday, America!  America, you are going to be 243 years old in just a few short weeks.  That’s right, in just a few weeks it will be July 4th…are you prepared?  Do you have your patriotic decor on display?  I struggle with decor for July 4th.  For me, most patriotic decor is very different from my style and what I tend to like.  It is a bit country cottage, which works for some but not for me.  So this year I wanted to up my game and celebrate a little more of this amazing American summer holiday.  This means finding some modern decor that suits my style which is really hard to pinpoint, I guess you could call it post-modern boho?  If you are like me and want to find something outside of the traditional patriotic style then follow along and maybe you too can up your game.  Ready to make your neighbors do a double take?

DIY American Flag Weaving:

Courtesy of The House that Lars Built

This one might be my all time favorite!  What an amazingly modern wreath for my front door, or display above my mantle this July 4th.  I am going to do a DIY tutorial on this so stay tuned!

Patriotic Gnomes:

Courtesy of Etsy

 

Speaking of the mantle, or maybe even hidden in one of your summer pots (preferably under a covered porch)….gnomes for every occasion!

Updated July 4th Patio Cushions:

This time of year every craft store in town will have patriotic bandannas.  Because you honestly can’t let America’s big day go by without an old fashion bandanna display.  So simple to cover each side of a cushion with one bandanna, tying off the corners with some burlap twine.  So pull up a seat to this perfect all American BBQ.

July Balloons:

Courtesy of The Crafted Sparrow

 

If you don’t have some red, white and blue lanterns to tie up in your trees, such as the ones pictured above, try these DIY balloons.  Just strategically place them around your yard.  Get your kids in on this project as they love to help decorate too!

Modern American Throw Pillows:

Whether you need festive throw pillows for those Adirondacks on the front lawn, that amazing porch swing, or your sofa these throw pillows will definitely feel a step above the rest.

Patriotic Tablescapes:

Get those outdoor spaces guest ready with a few inspiring tablescapes.

Mantle Worthy:

A few simple and modern ideas to make sure you bring the festivities and decor inside as well as outside.

Hygge Placemats:

Courtesy of Etsy

I have to share these amazing Scandinavian placemats, because you know if you have little’s you NEED placemats.

Independence Day Pineapple Sparkler Centerpiece:

Courtesy of Freutcake

So fun and so easy to make, all you need is pineapple, spraypaint and an all-time favorite, SPARKLERS.  Light them up at dusk and let the fireworks begin.

Firework Halo:

Courtesy of The Merrythought

Create this dreamy fireworks-inspired pom pom mobile using metallic pipe cleaners, clear nylon string, and metal hoops. If you’re worried about the forecast calling for windy days, stick to a simple halo made of pom poms, or bring your mobile indoors.

 

How are you spending your Independence Day?  Any fun modern decor that you display to help celebrate our beautiful country?  Follow me on Pinterest cottonandchaos and/or Instagram @cottonandchaosjen for more ideas and fun.

Happy Birthday USA!

Best,

Jen

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links meaning I could make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Problem Solved; 10 Decorating Mistakes and How to Fix Them

You know how it goes, you have picked the perfect color, scored the comfy yet stylish sofa, you have accessorized and styled your favorite nicknacks, yet something isn’t quite right.  You know it is off but just can’t pinpoint exactly what went wrong, (these are my emotions on the daily, I swear).  A common decorating mistake may be to blame, don’t sweat it, these mistakes are easy to correct.  Here are some prevalent mistakes with tips and tricks to fix them.

 

Mistake No.1: Hung too High Artwork

 

Courtesy of Projectallendesigns.com

You can really personalize your space by hanging artwork on your walls.  However, hanging stuff can be intimidating and tricky.  The tip here is to hang your artwork at the right height which is typically 57 inches from the floor.  The average height for most people is 57 inches, so hanging your artwork at this height allows people to see your artwork straight forward and comfortably.

Mistake No. 2: Curtains Hung Wrong

Courtesy of Styledbyemilyhenderson.com

Finding the right panel length is easy.  First measure from the floor to just above the window casing.  Next, mount the rod to match panel length, rather than the other way around, as you would for custom-made curtains. Panels should be as wide as the window and rod brackets mounted six inches outside the frame so panels can be pushed away from the glass easily.

Mistake No. 3: Teeny Tiny Rugs

Courtesy of Jessica Forbes

I know it costs more money to buy the bigger rug, but the splurge is totally worth it!  A rug that is too small can really bring down the look of your room.  For most spaces, that means a 5×8-foot rug is too small, so look for something between 6×9 and 9×12 feet.  However, if you love or have an attachment to a smaller rug try layering it with a large neutral rug underneath.  This allows the right amount of real estate for the furniture but still allows you to use that special piece.

Mistake No. 4: Disregarding Comfort

Courtesy of store.lynnchalk.com

Balancing form and function is always a must.  You know we have all done it, bought that super stylish chair without giving comfort a thought.  Just to get home and realize how uncomfortable it is.  Don’t be afraid to give those chairs a test run.  Doing so will ensure a relaxing and comfortable home that is chic to boot!

Mistake No. 5: Poor Lighting

Courtesy of aegisfilmsales.com

We all need to get over the thought, to light a room with one bright overhead and a big clicky wall switch.   We need to think of lighting a room in layers.  Plan to design with task lighting for work areas, accent lamps to add color and personality, and put that overhead light on a dimmer to change the mood of the room throughout the day.

Mistake No. 6: Wall Hugging

Courtesy of mydomain.com

It is always nice when everyone in the room is getting along (hugging) but this is not the case with your furniture hugging the walls.  You may feel that it gives you more space but I promise you it is a big no-no.  An alternative is to find a focal point in the room — entertainment center, fireplace, each other for conversation — and build your design around that. Move furniture away from the walls for a more intimate feel, with chairs no more than eight 8 feet apart to encourage talk. Position a table within reach of every seating piece, with traffic lanes several feet wide to allow easy movement.

Mistake No. 7: Too Much of One Color

Courtesy of BHG

Our living spaces deserve a good dose of color variation. Even if it’s just a single deep-blue pillow amid a sea of neutral beige, adding a little pop of your own will spice up any room in a snap.

Mistake No. 8: Cluttered Design

Courtesy of dizzyhome.com

It’s easy to pack your rooms with way too much stuff, but that look crosses over easily to clutter (and the next step is hoarding, so beware).  When you put too many nicknacks in one place, none will stand out as special.  Solve the issue by clearing off every surface in a room, one by one, and returning only half the things on it. Be your own tough editor and store the objects that didn’t make the cut this time. You can bring them out next season — or make a donation trip to the secondhand store.

Mistake No. 9: Storage Problems

Courtesy Unknown?

 

Take a look around your room and see where you can comfortably add more places to put things away — the easier to reach the better. Consider bare wall space first — anywhere to mount shelving or cabinetry? Can you add side tables with drawers? Any missed opportunities for built-ins? In bedrooms, consider building shelving around the headboard and adding storage boxes beneath the bed.

Mistake No. 10: Devouring Trends

Courtesy of Usdecorating.com

The unsung hero of your living room

Courtesy of One Kings Lane

Hey all, I know what you are thinking??  The unsung hero of your living room… what the heck is that?!  Well let me tell you, it is the coffee table.  Honestly most of the time this guy isn’t even thought of when designing a room.  If he is thought of he is aftermath thought or a creative burnout, can’t make any more decisions, just pick one, thought.  Even better this may not be something you even have to think of as you may have Aunt Blanche’s hand me down coffee table that has stood the test of time but not the test of style, (don’t get me wrong Aunt Blanche we are thankful).  Then, of course, there are the people that do plan and know they will need to have a coffee table because honestly who doesn’t??  This piece serves as a multi-functional table for just about everything.  Sometimes she may be the dinner table, (you know we all do it), or that footrest after a long day, she may be the kid’s obstacle course or their coloring station.  The list goes on, she is the keeper of the remotes, beverages, and books as well as the game hub on family nights.  I am telling you all… MULTI-FUNCTIONAL!!  So why not make this hardworking piece beautiful and just right for the space.  Let’s talk style, sizes, and shapes of coffee tables.

 

I have never been one to like “rules” and honestly, when choosing a coffee table there are no rules, maybe just some guidelines.  Let’s go over a few general things to keep in mind so you can have a good flow between your sofa and coffee table.  Your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa but no more than 2/3 the length.  The coffee table should stand to the same height as the sofa seat give or take a few inches.  If you have a sectional with a chaise, placing your table in the L-shaped opening the sofa creates, the size guideline refers more to the length of the horizontal seat rather than the full length of the sofa.  Here is a quick graphic by Emily Henderson Design (LOVE her).

Which brings us to our next guideline or better yet, information so that you can make the best design decisions for your space.  The scoop on shapes; round, square, oval, and rectangular.

Courtesy: Living Spaces

Round: Small spaces are the perfect setup for round coffee tables.  I would like to think you are cutting corners literally to save space.  This is also a good option for a sectional with chaise as round can fit into that “nook” beautifully.  This is purely opinion, but I believe round tables are a bit more sculptural fun.  I have found a few of my favorite round coffee tables to share with you.

Anthropologies Silas round coffee table- $600 (on sale now)!
Serena and Lily round table $1,998
Courtesy of Candelabra.com

Square: There is not much to say about square other than it fits into any configuration easily.  It is great for the middle of your chat zone with a sofa and a couple of chairs facing each other.  Or perfect for those L-shaped sectionals, really this is almost a win-win situation, therefore, getting the most bang for your buck.  Whether your style is traditional, modern or contemporary the square shape plays along nicely with all.  Check out a few of my favorites below:

 

CB2 Spin rotating coffee table- $800
Overstock-$205
Courtesy of West Elm

Oval: This Oval shape is great if you are designing for a high traffic flow space.  This shapes really helps to have some visual flow, breaking up any angular shaped sofa’s.  Oval is also really good for the little’s as they won’t have any sharp ends to contend with (same with the round shape).   Behold some oval inspiration below:

 

West Elm Reeve coffee table- $800
World Market oval glass coffee table -$350

 

Courtesy of Article

Rectangle: Rectangular coffee tables are a great choice if you are working with a narrow space with little walking clearance.  A bonus of the rectangular shape is for the ease of everyone reaching their beverage or snacks.  This shape works well for standard size to larger sofas.  Look below for some awesome rectangular coffee tables:

Amazon Haven Home Zane table – $259
Serena and Lily Blake Raffia table -$1198

So there you have it, some easy guidelines to help you along the way so that you may choose the best coffee table for your space and design.  Create the perfect vignette for your coffee table (more on that in a later post) and let this shining star come to life.  Give some love and attention to this hero of the room and you will never regret it.   If you have any questions or problems trying to figure what’s best for you space please comment as I would love to help out.  I love a challenge!! Hope everyone is having a good hump Day!!

Cheers!

Jen

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links meaning I could make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.